Runner by runner guide to Friday’s Oaks at Epsom
The £395,000 Group One Cazoo Oaks is the third British Classic of the season and sees the best three-year-old fillies do battle over 12 furlongs at Epsom Downs on Friday afternoon.
You can watch the race live on ITV Racing at 4.30pm as 14 runners bid to etch their name into sporting folklore. We’ve previewed the race with our runner by runner guide.
1 Divinely. Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 10/1
Has been the subject of good support this week, constricting in price to 10/1 from 25/1. The daughter of Galileo stayed on to good effect when fourth in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield last time out and deserves respect given she looks sure to relish this trip.
2 Dubai Fountain. Trainer: Mark Johnston. Odds: 12/1
An interesting contender. The daughter of Teofilo was a smooth winner of the Cheshire Oaks at Chester in May and this trip looks right up her street. Her trainer is renowned for his horses showing grit and class in equal measure and she could be interesting at bigger odds.
3 La Joconde. Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 50/1
An 850,000gns purchase who is a sister to Irish Derby winner Santiago. She was only fourth at Chester on her latest start behind Dubai Fountain and remains a maiden after six runs. She looks one of the more likely pace angles.
4 Mystery Angel. Trainer: George Boughey. Odds: 25/1
Supplemented for the race earlier this week and a first runner in a Classic for her Newmarket trainer. Mystery Angel has already run five times this year and was a gutsy winner of a Listed event at Newmarket in May. She was only beaten four and a quarter-lengths by Snowfall at York in the Musidora, but this demands more.
5 Ocean Road. Trainer: Hugo Palmer. Odds: 20/1
Thoroughly unexposed. The daughter of Australia cost 150,000gns and backed up victory at Lingfield in December with a solid third back at the track in the Oaks Trial in May. She has untapped potential and this trip could bring about more improvement.
6 Saffron Beach. Trainer: Jane Chapple-Hyam. Odds: 10/1
A stable star for her Newmarket trainer. The three-year-old was second in the Nell Gwyn on her seasonal debut, before taking her form to another level when second in the 1000 Guineas. There are slight question marks about her stamina over 12 furlongs, but she recently had a racecourse gallop at the track, suggesting this unique test will suit and she cannot be discounted.
7 Santa Barbara. Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 9/4f
The long-time ante-post favourite for this event. The daughter of Derby winner Camelot is bred in the purple, being a sister to Group One winners Iridessa and Order Of Australia. She was a smooth winner on debut at the Curragh last term, before finishing a fine fourth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. She will have learnt plenty from that experience and looks a stout stayer on pedigree. She is very exciting.
8 Save A Forest. Trainer: Roger Varian. Odds: 50/1
A good second in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield, but she seems to have been overlooked as a pace angle.
9 Sherbert Lemon. Trainer: Archie Watson. Odds: 33/1
A smart winner of the Oaks Trial at Lingfield and she will be ridden by Hollie Doyle. However, punters have questioned the form of that win and it looks clear that she will need to improve to play a role here.
10 Snowfall. Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 4/1
Burst onto the scene for this event, following a stunning success in the Musidora at York. Her stamina is already assured and she looks well placed to provide her stable companion Santa Barbara with a stern challenge as they look to provide Aidan O’Brien with a ninth win in this event.
11 Technique. Trainer: Martyn Meade. Odds: 50/1
Ran well at the track in April when a head second, but disappointed at Lingfield when only seventh in the Oaks Trial and she needs to improve.
12 Teona. Trainer: Roger Varian. Odds: 11/2
The leading British challenger for many. A daughter of Derby hero Sea The Stars, the three-year-old shaped with promise in the Musidora when third to Snowfall after a layoff. She remains unexposed and will have learnt plenty following that assignment.
13 Willow. Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 40/1
Was a leading contender for this race for many earlier on this term, but she has proved disappointing in two starts this year. Third in Listed company at Naas last time out, she again looks a pace angle for team Ballydoyle.
14 Zeyaadah. Trainer: Roger Varian. Odds: 11/2
Another contender for Roger Varian. The daughter of Tamayuz scored in Listed company last term and shaped with promise on her comeback when second in the Cheshire Oaks. She will have learnt plenty from that assignment and with stamina already proven she is another leading player.
Aidan O’Brien has won four of the last six runnings of the Oaks and Santa Barbara has always been held in high regard by her trainer. She looks a stayer based on her pedigree and could be the class angle in the race. Snowfall is a legitimate contender following her stunning win in the Musidora and she has to be respected alongside Roger Varian’s pair of Teona and Zeyaadah. However, Santa Barbara has stacks of quality and is taken to confirm the immense talent which she has promised so far this term.
1 Santa Barbara 9/4 2 Snowfall 4/1 3 Zeyaadah 11/2
Selections from OLBG